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Rapid Overseas Expansion for WeChat and UnionPay

2018-12-11 15:38 Tuesday

WeChat Pay and Alipay account for over 90% of China's domestic mobile payment market. To hedge against the uncertainties in its gaming business, Tencent recently launched a beta version of a new money-market fund, Lingqiantong, to diversify its payment business and capture market share from its rival Alipay.


Lingqiantong is akin to Alibaba's Yu'e Bao, which allows users to earn interest from their balance as well as transfer payments to pay bills, send virtual red packets and make credit card payments. Tencent recently released its financial report for the 2018 third quarter,, garnering US$3.4 billion in profits, much higher than expected and offsetting slower growth in its gaming division.

WeChat Pay introduced its own online wealth management service Licaitong in 2014, a platform offering a range of financial products for investors. To date, Licaitong has aggregate assets in excess of 500 billion yuan (US$72 billion). Tencent also recently began a trial of its personal credit scoring system, which is similar to  Sesame Credit run by Ant Financial Services, the operator of Alipay. In October 2018, Tencent launched the first cross-border mobile payment service, allowing WeChat Pay Hong Kong users to conduct yuan-denominated transactions in Mainland China using Hong Kong dollars.

According to UnionPay International, a subsidiary of China UnionPay will commence mobile payment services in Sri Lanka. The company plans to launch its QR code payment system as part of an agreement with Cargills Group, the largest retail and FMCG group in Sri Lanka. Unionpay will be added to Cargills'e-wallet during the first half of 2019.

UnionPay service will be available at major tourist cities Columbo, Kandy, Galle and Matale, and approximately 2,000 merchants, including restaurants, department stores and supermarkets.

UnionPay's QuickPass service, which allows users to pay with a contactless swipe, is accepted at more than 2 million POS terminals in 30 jurisdictions outside of Mainland China. The UnionPay QR code payment is accepted at more than 60,000 merchants in 23 jurisdictions outside of China.

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